Monday, October 2, 2017

2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1.....2!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Hey, Friends :)

I am currently starting this letter while sitting at a all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet! I decided to write my email instead of eat because I am not hungry, and this place is pretty sketchy and I figured it wouldn’t be worth it hahaha. Gotta love New York! 

So, we had transfer calls this morning! I can’t believe this transfer is already over. It’s been a super fast one! Elder Fausett is breaking my streak of one-and-done’s with my companions! I am pretty happy about that one. It has been weird only being with my companions for only one transfer, so I am excited to be able for Elder Fausett and I to stay together! 

Alright, I am back from the restaurant! Hopefully I will be able to get some writing done hahaha.

This week was pretty good, but it was a little disappointing... We had 18 set lessons scheduled with our investigators for this past week. I was so hyped to be able to see most of the people we are working with consistently this week and see some people we have found over the past few weeks. However, every single appointment scheduled cancelled on us....... So this week was a lot of grinding with street contacting, knocking, and making calls/Video chats. Sadly, we weren’t able to find any new investigators this week, but I trust that the Lord is trying to teach us something :) I love Heavenly Father and I love being a part of His work! I am so grateful that He loves us enough to allow as imperfect of a person as I am to be an instrument in His hands. Over this last transfer, I would have to say that one of the biggest lessons I have learned is how to submit my will to the Father’s. I have had a ton of super awesome plans fall through only to be replaced with real faith-building experiences. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for loving me enough to cut me down :) He truly does know us perfectly, and just as we learned in General Conference, we sometimes need to have the “faith to not be healed”. 

That’s really all I have time to talk about today! Super quick summary of the week:
  • General Conference was amazing!!! I would love to hear what your thoughts are about it! What did the Lord teach you? What stood out to you? What difference did thisConference make in your life? What difference will this Conference make in your life?
  • Exchange with Elder Afoa!! I was really fun to be back with one of my old companions, even if it was just for a day! I love Elder Afoa! He is going to be such an incredible district leader this coming transfer!!

I love you all! Please let me know what I can do for you :) I pray that you will continue to come closer to the Lord this week :)

Love ya!

Elder Snell

P.S. I totally forgot to talk about the Balut we ate a couple weeks ago! It is a partially developed duck embryo! It was actually not that bad, but I don’t think I will want to eat it again hahaha. Check out my email from last week for the pictures :) 

P.P.S. I apologize for the lack of pictures...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Lots of stuff!

Sept 25, 2017

Hello, Everyone! :)

I guess I should start this week’s email by apologizing to those who were led to imagine what terrible things could have happened to me that would cause me to not be able to write you all an email last week. My Mom has “rebuked” me and I have repented!

This week was super busy, fairly long, and flat-out fantastic (and insane)! We had two exchanges this week; one with Elder Meliza and Elder Bodily, and one with Elder Weisler (one of the Assistants). My exchange with Elder Bodily has easily got to be my favorite exchange I have been on. Elder Bodily has been in the mission field for 5 weeks now and is killing it! He is extremely intelligent and very fun to be around. Well, to start out our exchange, we had planned to go visit a few of our less-actives we are working with. We started out with visiting Nelly, a convert as of two years who had a minor issue with keeping a commandment and got offended when the bishop asked to talk with her and counseled with her about how she can start keeping the commandment. Her being offended led to her not wanting anything to do with the Church for a while. However, she is somewhat close to coming back again! So there is still hope! :) Anyway, she was the only one home, so she grabbed a chair from inside and sat right inside the door while Elder Bodily and I had a lesson with her from standing outside. Nelly said that she will try to make it to church soon, so that is pretty good.
After we finished with Nelly, I had the impression that I needed to take Elder Bodily knocking (which, sadly, is something not too many missionaries do in the city...). I had him chose a less-active we could look up and then we would knock their street. The less-active sadly wasn’t home, but I knew that is not what the Lord had brought us to that location for. As we left the front porch, I made my way over to the next house. Elder Bodily asked me what I was doing and if I knew who lived there. Apparently, he hadn’t had the chance to do any finding yet! I got super excited and super determined to help Elder Bodily have some really incredible experiences that day. He didn’t feel comfortable doing the first door, so I told him I would go first :) No body answered the door. We moved on to the next. As we were walking up to the door, some 6 year old kids passed us riding some scooters. Not entirely sure why, but I yelled after them and asked if they lived in the first house we knocked. To my surprise, they said yes! I asked if they could run inside and get their mom for us. The little kids happily ran inside and sent their mom out to talk with us. The mom came out and we had a wonderful conversation with her where we were able to teach her the message of the Restoration. She was excited to be able to read the Book of Mormon and said she will definitely ask her husband if we can come over again for another lesson. After we set a return appointment and said a prayer with her, we walked on to the next house. It was Elder Bodily’s turn. He asked me if how the last door went was how knocking usually goes. I told him it wasn’t the most common thing haha :) Well, he nervously knocked on the door. No answer. We moved on to the next door. A kind looking lady in her lower 30s came to the door. Elder Bodily introduced himself to which the lady responded, “Ah, No! I’m an Atheist”, then slammed the door. Elder Bodily came down from the steps and jokingly I said, “that’s more like how it usually goes.” He thought it was funny and was super excited to get the next one! He confidently walked up to the third door for the day and knocked. A 15 year old girl came to the door and they started to have a conversation. As they were talking, the rest of the girl’s family came home from a walk. We now had the attention of a church-going family of 5! I got excited! They were fantastic! We ended up talking with them for a good hour and a half. They asked us what set our church apart from the other churches around the area. As we shared the message of the Restoration, the spirit definitely touched their hearts and they loved what we had to share with them. Elder Bodily had never taught the restoration yet in the field, so he was really excited about it! He did such an incredible job! If he wasn’t there, we definitely would not have found this wonderful family! I got their phone numbers and set up a return appointment. They also said that they would love to come to church with us someday! Heavenly Father led us to find 7 new investigators that day including a new investigators for Elder Bodily and Elder Meliza’s Spanish pool. I am so grateful for the guidance the Lord gives us in doing His work! As you give yourself to Him, He really does use us as an instrument in His hands!

There have been a ton of other incredible things that have happened over the past week. Our new investigator, Mario, has now been to church 6 times! He was invited to church by his friend in the ward, Gabby, and we now have been able to teach him about the restoration of the gospel and the Book of Mormon. Mario also expressed that he feels an incredible and noticeable difference in his life as a result of coming to church regularly! I wish all members understood the impact they can make on their friends and their ward just by inviting them to learn about the gospel. 

One last event this week: Mikee and Happy have been experiencing a lot of adversity from their Mom at home. Yesterday, there was a baptism in the family ward that they really wanted Jacob to be able to see. They asked their mom if they could bring him. She said absolutely not, which started a heated argument. It escalated to the point of the Mom kicking Happy and Mikee out of the house. Mikee and Happy then packed their bags and got ready to live who knows where... Jacob really wanted to come to church and is really upset with his mom for not letting him go, so he decided to pack up his bags as well and leave with his older sisters. We were still at church for the family ward when we got a text from the YSA sisters saying they needed us ASAP. We ran out of church to go help Happy, Mikee, and Jacob. They stayed at the church for some time, watched the baptism, went with some members to a post-baptism BBQ, and eventually we convinced them that they need to go home and make things right with their mom. It was a crazy day full of confusion and lots of emotions from everyone. When they got home, their mom apologized for causing them to have a split family and for kicking them out. From what we have heard from Mikee, everything is okay for now. Keep them in your prayers, though! They definitely need the strength to mend their family bonds :) Heavenly Father definitely had His hand in the situation that day, though! When Mikee, Happy, and Jacob finally when home, their Mom wasn’t home. She had decided to go cool off around the city and texted the girls saying she was sorry.

Lots of miracles this week, that’s for sure! Sadly, we will be taking a break with teaching Jacob for a little bit just to prevent any more blow ups within their family. I have full confidence that Heavenly Father will continue to prepare their Mom’s heart for the gospel. 

I love you all and hope you have had an amazing couple of week! Let me know if there is ever anything I can do for you :) Have a good one!

Elder Snell













Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Phone Call

Letter from Sept 11, 2017

Hello, Friends :)

This week has been a pretty good one! It's also been super short since we had our last preparation day on Wednesday. It's been a while since I have been able to write a decent and detailed weekly email, so there is a lot of stuff that has happened that I could talk about. Hopefully I will be able to hit the important stuff haha :)

So, this week has been a lot of meetings and preparing for meetings. We had Mission Leadership Council on Friday which ran from 9:30 until around 4:30ish. I always love being able to learn from the leadership of the mission! It helps a lot to be able to see what is happening in other zones and figure out what we can do differently to help the missionaries we are over.

Due to the meetings and planning we have been doing this last week, we haven't had as much time as I would like to get out and find some solid investigators. We have been praying that we would be able to find some time. This week, we have had 2 or 3 solid investigators literally fall into our laps! Just yesterday, we were about to start our morning planning when we get a call from an unrecognized phone number. We answered it, and it was a Jewish man who believes in Christ and has already read up to Alma 42 in the Book of Mormon and LOVES it! We talked with him over the phone for about an hour and a half trying our best to answer his questions. He has some pretty legit questions!!! Due to his busy work schedule, he said he wouldn't be able to meet in person this week. So, we are going to have a video chat or phone call lesson tomorrow morning! Miracles! 

Another miracle is that Jacob's mom let him come to church yesterday!!!! That was amazing! But the miracle doesn't end there. So, yesterday the YSA stake we are a part of had a stake conference where President Russell M. Nelson came and spoke. Sadly, we were not able to attend... BUT Happy and Mikee (Jacob's older sisters who are recent converts) were able to make it! They took Jacob with them and guess who tagged along?!?!?!? THEIR MOM!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it when Jacob told us she went with them! Their Mom is super against the church, and the fact that she went to the TEMPLE grounds to listen to an APOSTLE is a miracle!!!!! Looks like Jacob might be able to be baptized sooner than we had thought he could. We are even having a lesson with Jacob AT HIS HOUSE this week! That's HUGE!!!!! Wow, I am so grateful for Heavenly Father helping to soften her heart this week :) Please keep Jacob and his Mom in your prayers!

Another miracle is John. John is one of our new investigators who was also given to us straight from Heavenly Father! So, about a month and a half ago the YSA sisters found him sitting on the front steps of the church building. They talked with him and offered to show him around the inside of the building. He agreed and they showed him the chapel and the baptismal font and some other things. Nothing really came of it until just recently. One day, John just randomly showed up for sacrament meeting saying he wanted to see firsthand what Mormons believe and practice!! One of the members talked with him and introduced him to us. We took him through the rest of church and he said he really enjoyed it and wanted to learn more from us! We have now taught him three times and he LOVES the scriptures! He has very in depth questions which luckily we have been able to answer using the scriptures :) He has been to church two times now, and plans to continue attending! Heavenly Father is definitely taking the reins on our finding! 

Well, that's about all I have time for this week! I am so grateful for all the amazing things I am learning on my mission. I can honestly say that my mission has changed my life and continues to shape me every day! I love it and I love this gospel! I hope you all have an incredible week. Love you all!

Elder Snell

Monday, August 28, 2017

Didn't Even Have Time to Think of A Subject..

Hey, everyone! :)

Wow, I am really good at procrastinating this whole emailing thing hahaha. I will try to cram what I can in the email within the 15 minutes I have left. "We have our heading. Here we GOOOOOOO!"

This week has been such an amazing blessing! I have grown so much this week alone and my testimony of the gospel has been strengthened tenfold! I love the Lord so much for the incredible things I have been blessed with. I am definitely not deserving of what He has given me, but I am truly grateful for it.

So, the best part of this week has been teaching Jacob! Jacob is Happy and Mikee's 10 year old brother. He is literally one of my most favorite people on the planet. Jacob was told by a pastor that his sisters were following Lucifer and that they don't love God. He wasn't very happy with that, so Jacob decided to investigate the truth for himself. He asked Happy and Mikee if he could come to their next lesson with the missionaries to learn for himself where the truth is. We met with Jacob on Tuesday morning where we taught him the Restoration. We first talked all about how much God loves him and knows him. Jacob loves Heavenly Father so much and said that he knows that because He gave him such an amazing family. We talked about how by following Jesus Christ, we can live with our families forever. He loved that! We talked about prayer and how it helps us get closer to God. We talked a lot about how we can receive answers to our prayers from the Holy Ghost. Jacob absolutely loved what we shared with him about all of that and about Joseph Smith asking God which church was true. 
A couple days later, we had another lesson with Jacob where we gave him the Children's Book of Mormon. As of right now, just under a week later, he has read the entire thing and has all the stories memorized! His favorite story is Korihor! I love him so much! Jacob even invited 2 of his friends to one of our lessons where we taught the Plan of Salvation! They all loved it and after we finished talking about the kingdoms of glory, Jacob asked if HE could teach his friends about the Restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. That was an incredible moment. 
Jacob came to church yesterday and LOVED it so much! He retaught ME the Plan of Salvation during sacrament meeting hahaha. At the end of church he hugged us goodbye about 6 or 7 times. I love him so much! I am praying so hard that his Mom will have her heart softened to the gospel and desire to learn for herself some day. 

I love you all so much! A lot more happened this week, but time is super super super short. Have an amazing week!

Elder Snell

P.S. I will send pictures next week. Sorry! Just know that Jacob is the cutest little Filipino boy you will ever meet! 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Happy Day for Happy & Mikee!!

August 21st, 2017

Hello, Friends! :)

Wow, this week was a busy one! I doubt I am going to be able to fit it all in one email. So, I have decided that I will attempt to pick out the best/most important parts for you to read. I will try to keep this short and to the point :) oh...also, I just realized I left some stuff out of my email from last week, so I will shortly explain that stuff as well. Alright, here we go :)

Stuff from Last Week
Last Friday, we had a baptism for Daniella (YSA Sister's investigator)!!! WAHOO!! It was super awesome to see the branch pull together to make her baptismal service a very special event for her. Every part of the program was taken care of by the members. John Howard conducted and baptized, Faith and Annie did a musical number, Martin gave the talk on baptism, etc. It was fantastic! 
Mikee & Happy's younger brother turned 10 last week and they invited us to come get some food for his birthday party. We stopped by for a bit and they had a TON of food!!! They legit ordered an entire pig and had tray after tray of Filipino food. It was delicious! One of the dishes (not as delicious as others...) was pork chunks soaked in pig blood... it was interesting hahaha.

Okay, I think that's all I missed from last week so we can now move onto this past week :)

Baptism for Happy & Mikee
That's right! Happy and Mikee were baptized into the YSA this past Friday!!!!!! They are literally some of my most favorite people out here. Their conversion process has been amazing. Their Mom does not support them at all. Despite their family issues, they pressed forward and were still baptized and confirmed because they knew it was true and what God wanted them to do. Mikee asked me if I would baptize her and Happy asked me to confirm her. I am super humbled and grateful that they would ask me to do that for them :) They truly love the gospel and it has definitely changed their lives forever. 

YSA Activity at Flushing Meadows Park
Saturday was probably the most fun I have had on my mission!!! We had a super amazing activity at Flushing Meadows park and a TON of people came including a couple of our investigators and a few of our less active members! We we split up into teams and played a bunch of different games including a sack race, tug-of-war, water balloon fight, ultimate frisbee, and all that jazz! Sadly, my team didn't win, but it was SO FUN!!!  I love the Queens YSA so much! The members did such an amazing job fellowshipping the people we brought. Our investigators and less actives said they felt like they had just been adopted into a large family where everyone is their own age. Truly an incredible thing to have people outside the church feel the love of our Savior through the members of His church. 

Transfers are Tomorrow
Well, it has already been 6 weeks! I can't believe how fast this transfer just flew by! Crazy! AAAAAAAAAAANNDDD...........I am staying here in Astoria!! YAY! I love it here :) However, Heavenly Father has decided to keep my streak of "one-and-ones" going on making it so Elder Cubas is OUT! I thought for sure that we would stay together for another transfer, but I guess Heavenly Father wants me to get used to change. Starting next transfer, I will have had 10 companions in 10 transfers! That's insane! I am happy I get to stay here, though!

Miscellaneous Information :)
I found out this week that Brother Havig (member in the family ward) writes lines for Studio C for his job!!!!!!! That sounds like the best job ever!! Hahahaha 
SO many of the members are involved in music as their careers. There are a lot of actors on broadway, stage crew directors, vocal performers, orchestra directors, Play-writes, etc. It is super fun to ask people about their jobs here :) 

Lots of great stuff is taking off here! Found a few great new investigators who are starting to progress. It is awesome to be a part of :)

I love you all! 
Elder Snell
1-3) Mikee & Happy's Baptism
4-5) I found the caterpillar from A Bug's Life!!
6-7) We found this guy outside while we were knocking one night!
8 Last district picture!
10-25) YSA activity in Flushing Meadows Park and the Unisphere!!!!
26) I ran into Tony and Aira (recent convert and member) from Rego
Park while we were walking home last night!!!!!!!!!!











Monday, August 14, 2017

You Can't Believe Everything You Find On The Internet

Hey, Everyone!!!! :)

I apologize for the super lame email this week. I super procrastinated
because we had a breakfast party for Elder Nixon who is going home
today. It has bee tons and tons of fun and I forgot to write my weekly
email....

I will share a super quick story, though! So, earlier this week we got
a Large Print Bible referral from Mormon.org for Vashti. We went to
her house and she invited us in to talk more about Christ with her and
her son. It was such an amazing lesson, and she absolutely loved the
message of the Restoration! Vashti accepted to read the Book of Mormon
and come to church. It was awesome! I already love her so much. SO
prepared! However, a couple days ago we got a text from Vashti that
was super heartbreaking... Basically, she searched up the LDS church
online and found a TON of anti-Mormon information and told us she does
not feel comfortable following our religion. Vashti won't respond to
us anymore and it is super sad, especially because I know she felt the
spirit while we were testifying to her of the Restoration of Christ's
gospel. At least we were able to plant a pretty good seed! Vashti will
come around at some point :)

The YSA sisters had a baptism Friday!!! WAHOO!!! It is super
amazing to see the missionary work here growing day by day. It has
been a slow process, but it is definitely growing :) Happy and Mikee
are getting baptized this Friday too!!! I am so excited for
them :)

Well, that's about all I have time for. I hope you know how much I
truly love you all. Have such an amazing week!

Elder Snell



There are a ton of Spanish Women who set up small little grills on the
street (often times on a shopping cart) and they make AMAZING meat
kabobs!




video



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Air Conditioning: A Modern Miracle

Hey Everyone :) :)

This week was amazing!!! I just got back from the temple a little bit
ago, so I don't have a lot of time to write. I will try to be super
quick though hahaha

First off, exactly one year ago from today, I hit the mission field!
August 9th was the day I got Elder Jensen as my trainer and started
off in Plainview! Crazy how time flies (I feel like I say that every
week)!

I guess I will just tell you a little bit about the pictures :)

I got the first two from someone else, but I took the rest of the
pictures of Manhattan!! Orfatt, recent convert here who Elder Jensen
(my trainer) baptized, lives right next to the East River, overlooking
Manhattan! He invited us over to his place for a lesson (which we had
on the roof top of his 35 story apartment! He also showed us around
the park next to his place. It was awesome! I got some really sweet
pictures, too!! :)

The next grouping of pictures is from my exchange with the Assistants on Monday
 and yesterday. I was with Elder Brown for the exchange. It
was amazing! We had a pretty solid lesson with their investigator,
Hope. Theses adorable kids wanted to sit right between Elder Brown and
I during the entire lesson! They were SO cute! Definitely one of my
favorite exchanges I have been on.

Best for last: I went to the Manhattan Temple today! It was so amazing
to be in the temple again. I have really missed that place. Elder Jensen joined us on
our temple trip! We talked the whole time. It was really cool to sit
with him during the session and in the Celestial room. I love him to
death and can't believe it has already been a year from today that we
met!!! I am going to miss him tons! I feel like he's my brother :)
well, another exciting thing about the temple was that the air
condition was super broken! As we were walking into our session room,
the temple workers passed out envelopes for us to use to fan ourselves
during the session! After our session, the officiator told us that it
was 92 degrees in the room we were in! Crazy hot!!! Everyone was
sweating hahaha! Definitely a first for me. I love the temple SO
much!! I am so grateful for the opportunity to go to the house of the
Lord! I am also super grateful for the miracle of air conditioning.

Well, that's about all I have time to write this week. A ton more
happened, though! Haha oh well..

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Snell